Thankfully most of the areas we have walked through on the Pacific Crest Trail are undisturbed and in their natural state. Recently, however, we have travelled through a great deal of national forest land, which the US government has dubbed “the land of many uses”. In addition to hiking, these uses include include logging and mining.
It was shocking for us to walk through dense forest one moment and into an almost clear cut section the next. Seeing destroyed forest was incredibly depressing, and North Star started to tear up. In addition to the cut trees, almost all the vegetation had been ripped up by heavy machinery. It would take hundreds of years for the forest to fully reestablish itself. The land was devastated.
To our relief, the trail continued on to steeper slopes which had never been logged. The mature trees there were magnificent.